Our Overseas Visits

 

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Today I wanted to write about our overseas travels. So I checked what, I had written about it before. Luckily, I was able to find  quite a bit of information under the title ‘Memories from August 2010’. (There is a link at the top of this post!)

Anyone who goes to this post from 2010 is going to find out that even by 2010 we had done already quite a bit of overseas travelling. In the meantime we travelled overseas two more times, namely in 2012 and then in 2016.

Living in Australia and having some family in Germany makes us want to travel overseas as often as possible. So far we had the good fortune of being able to use all this airline travel. On top of it, Airlines do still offer low price airfares!

At least a few people must be aware by now, that air travel is extremely bad for the environment. But how many people do actually try to avoid air travel these days as much as possible?

In 1990 we did do a trip around the world. I wrote about it here:

https://auntyuta.com/2014/02/05/our-trip-around-the-world/

Our first trip overseas was in 1977. Caroline was born in December 1978. We travelled with Caroline to Berlin in November 1980 and then again in March 1986 when Caroline was seven.

 

In 1977 Peter and I visited my cousin Renate and her family in Munich. From Munich we did a day trip to visit my uncle Edmund and his wife Flora in Augsburg. Among other things we visited with them the Augsburg Fuggerei. For lunch they invited us to the close by FUGGEREI STUBE.

https://auntyuta.com/2015/08/10/the-fuggerei-is-the-worlds-oldest-social-housing-complex-still-in-use/

 

In 1977 we travelled a bit around Western Germany staying with family and friends. But most of the time in 1977 we spent visiting our family in Berlin.

 

The 21st of December 2018

Before we went to the cinema, we had a few snacks and coffee. We saw ‘The old man and the Gun’ with Robert Redford. It was quite hilarious how the bank-robber (Robert Redford) smiled at his victims and behaved like a ‘gentleman’. It is said this is Redford’s last movie.

The second movie we saw was ‘Colette’. I found it very interesting how Colette did become a famous author!

On the 21st of December 1956, that is 62 years ago, we saw in Berlin the following two movies together with Peter’s sister Ilse and brother-ilaw Klaus:





The Lady and the Tramp – Susi und Strolch:

We watched it in German and loved it so much!




https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giant_(1956_film)

Berlin in 26 Days from the 4th to the 30th of June 2016

This Berlin visit was a true family event for  Peter and me. I would like to tell about the 26 days in Berlin in three different parts. First there were 8 days with Martin, Caroline and Matthew, then 9 days spent just with Martin and the last 9 days in Berlin we saw a lot of Monika and her family who came  to visit Berlin from the 21st to the 30th of June.

When we arrived in Berlin on Saturday, the 4th of June, we were five adults from Australia, and we were renting a three bedroom apartment in Rubensstrasse, Berlin-Friedenau. Our rented apartment was just great, very spacious and well equipped.

The other family group from Australia had booked an apartment in Prenzlauer Berg which is a bit North-East from the centre of Berlin, whereas Friedenau is South of Berlin’s centre. Monika’s group stayed in Berlin for 9 days after already having visited London, Paris and Zuerich. On Thursday, the 30th of June, they travelled back to London to stay there for another four nights and then to fly back to Sydney, Australia.

Thursday, the 9th of June was my brother Bodo’s 78th birthday. Peter, Martin, Matthew and Caroline went on that day to Kreuzberg (Cross-Mountain). Peter wanted to show them the place where he had grown up. My brother Peter Uwe came to go with me to visit Bodo.

Bodo is being looked after in a home for the Aged.

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We walked along here to get to the home where Bodo lives.

 

 

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This place, a Memorial for the Berlin Wall, is not far from where Bodo lives.

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Peter Uwe and Bodo

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Uta and Bodo

Charlotte mit ihren drei Kindern 1948
Mum with Bodo, Uta and Peter Uwe in 1948

 

Below a few pictures I took one morning in our apartment. Matthew is in the background, Martin is on the left, and Caroline and Peter on the right.

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Memories: A Job at last

I started my first job on the 2nd of January 1953.  I very much dreaded the upcoming exams at Commercial College (Höhere Wirtschaftsschule). This is why I was overjoyed when I managed to land a job. It gave me the opportunity to leave school without having to do any exams. I wrote about it in November 2009 and copy it here:

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Bayerisches Viertel

This is a view of Bozener Strasse towards the Chestnut Tree. This picture is to be found in
This is a view of Bozener Strasse towards the Chestnut Tree. This picture is to be found in this article by the Tagesspiegel  about Bayerisches Viertel.

Here is another picture of that Chestnut Tree.
Here is another picture of that Chestnut Tree.

This is a picture of Bozener Strasse seen from the
This is a picture of Bozener Strasse seen from the “Robbengatter” Restaurant.

The top three pictures were all taken from this Tagesspiegel article:

http://www.tagesspiegel.de/berlin/bezirke/bayerisches-viertel/kiezkneipe-robbengatter-im-bayerischen-viertel-dichtung-und-trunkenheit/9860760.html

 

 

On September 20th, 2012 I wrote the following:

“Yesterday, Tuesday, our destination was Bayerischer Platz. Just round the corner is Bozener Strasse, where I grew up. I felt quite nostalgic to see my old stomping ground again. We picked up a few large, shiny, rather big chestnuts from under the huge tree at the end of Bozener Strasse. I remember this tree very well from my childhood!”

I mentioned this chestnut tree in this blog: https://auntyuta.com/2013/06/02/early-memories/

This picture under the chestnut tree was taken on the 9th June 1940, my brother Bodo's second birthday.
This picture under the chestnut tree was taken on the 9th June 1940, my brother Bodo’s second birthday.

 

 

9th June 1940: All the party guests are under the chestnut tree for picture taking.
9th June 1940: All the party guests are under the chestnut tree for picture taking.

Here I am under that tree in September 2012,
Here I am under that tree in September 2012,

Peter in Bozener Strasse, the street where I grew up!
Peter in Bozener Strasse, the street where I grew up!

Childhood Memories

https://auntyuta.com/2013/06/02/early-memories/

I was born on the 21st of September 1934. This was when we lived in Taunus Strasse, Berlin- Friedenau. Some time during 1937 we moved to Bozener Strasse in Berlin-Schöneberg. This is where Tante Ilse and Onkel Addi lived as well and also my friend Cordula Lepsius and her parents. Later on we did get to know Family Todtenhausen who lived in the house opposite our apartment building.

We lived on the third floor, Tante Ilse lived two floors further up. Mum quite often went up with me to visit Tante Ilse. One of my early memories is that Tante Ilse and Mum were lying  under the bright lights of some tanning lamps (Höhensonne).  They used some oil on their skin which smelled beautiful and made their skin look shiny. Their skin had usually a bit of a tan. They wore some protective dark glasses. Sometimes they made me lie under the lamp for a little while.  I  liked it when some of this nice smelling oil was rubbed all over my body. I too had to wear these dark glasses. I liked to wear them for a little while. But I was required to lie totally still. Very soon  I did get sick of it, not wanting to lie still any more under the hot tanning lamp. I was then always glad when I was allowed to get up again.

I remember thinking that Auntie was a very beautiful looking woman with her very long curly hair. I remember watching In the three way mirrors of her dressing table how Auntie brushed her hair. It was very strong and long chestnut-coloured hair.  Auntie usually brushed it slightly back so it stayed behind her ears. She often wore very long blue earrings. Oh, I loved the look of these blue earrings!  They looked so beautiful hanging down from Auntie’s ears. I think Mum did not wear any earrings, because her ears were covered by her hair. Mum’s brown hair was very fine and much shorter than Auntie’s. My hair was rather fine too. Mum always cut it quite short. I often wished  that I could wear my  hair longer but Mum would not let me grow it longer.

Later on both Auntie Ilse as well as Mum wore identical three big rolls of hair horizontally on top of their heads. The front rolls covered the top of their foreheads, the other two rolls were rolled behind the front roll. They also often wore identical clothes, for instance light pink angora wool tops with identical grey suits.

Mum often called me  ‘MAUSEL’ or ‘Mauselchen’, whereas Auntie liked to call me ‘HERZCHEN’ or ‘LIEBLING’. Dad sometimes said ‘HERZEL’ to me, but he usually called me by my name. Mausel is derived from Maus (mouse), Herzchen means ‘little heart’, Liebling means ‘darling’.

Cordula’s  mum once told  me, that her name meant ‘heart’ in the Latin language, but not to tell anyone otherwise some children would make fun of the name. I did not want anyone to make fun of Cordula. So I promised myself to keep the meaning of the name to myself.

My brother Bodo was born in 1938. I think Cordula’s  brother Tilwin was born one year later. Mum said that Tilwin was an extremely odd name. And on top of it he grew up with very bright red hair. The children in the street teased him about his hair. As much as possible Cordula always stood up for her  brother. I think for the most part Tilwin avoided playing with other children.

We lived on the third floor. The Lepsius apartment was on the same side as our apartment, just two floors further up. (Auntie Ilse’s apartment was on the other side of the fifth floor). I often went up to the Lepsius apartment by myself to play with Cordula. They had a ‘roof-garden’ (Dachgarten) above their apartment. It was the size of a big room and had no roof above it. I remember the sun shining right into it. The floor was concrete, and along the walls were garden-beds . Cordula was allowed to look after her own little garden-bed.. Once Cordula’s Mum let me have a portion of a little garden-bed too! Cordula’s Mum and Dad were always kind to me. They made me feel welcome and included.

Cordula’s family had food that I had never seen before. For snacks we children were often given some kind of brown flakes and raisins. Sometimes we were given dates or figs. I loved this food! My Mum thought it was strange to eat something like that. In Mum’s opinion this family was rather odd because they had lived in the Middle East for a while. Cordula’s father was an architect. My Mum called him ‘the Hunger-Architect’ (Hungerleider) since he seemed to get hardly any work in his profession.

Mum must have seen their apartment once for I remember her remarking how sparsely furnished it was. Mum found their choice of furniture quite odd. There were a great number of shelves stacked full with books. These shelves went from floor to ceiling. Herr Lepsius sometimes showed us children books with colourful illustrations. He also told us stories. We loved one story in particular which had a funny ending. We demanded to be told that story again and again. Each time we laughed our heads off, and Herr Lepsius laughed with us. The story was about a beggar who knocked at the door of an apartment. A beautiful maid opened the door. Some time later the beggar knocked at another door of an apartment in the neighbouring building. And the same beautiful maid opened the door! We found the astonishment of the beggar very funny! Herr Lepsius explained to us, that the family had two connecting apartments across two buildings; that is, the wall between the buildings had been broken through to connect the apartments on that floor. This was actually where the family of Herr Lepsius had lived, when he was a boy.

Herr Lepsius was old and bald. I believe he was about twenty years older than his wife. Quite a few years later Cordula and I went to the same high-school. We walked there together every morning. One morning I climbed up the stairs to  Cordula’s apartment to find out why she   had not come down yet to go to school with me. I rang the bell. Frau Lepsius opened the door. She was in tears. She did not let me come in but went with me to the top of the stairs. She said: “Our father just died; I haven’t even told Cordula yet.”  She looked at me with despair in her face.  I did not know what to say. She hugged me and then she disappeared in her apartment.

Now I found out that Cordula died on the 25th of July 2011, aged 76. This was very sad news for me. 😦

 

    • Thanks for commenting, Mary-Ann.
      I feel sorry that I had lost contact with Cordula over the years. The last time I had seen her was in 1986. I probably could have done more to keep in touch with her. All I know is that at the time her priorities were to give her two children the best possible start in life and to establish a business with her older and already retired husband.
      The death notice Peter found by googling Cordula’s name. It was in a church bulletin from October 2011. It was definitely a death notice for Cordula. It showed the correct spelling of her first name and double surname.

  1. WordsFallFromMyEyesJune 5, 2013 at 10:16 pm Edit #

     I can’t imagine handling that many kids!

    Re the oil over your body – I agree. I would have loved that 🙂

    • auntyutaJune 5, 2013 at 10:31 pm Edit #

      Funny you should think three kids is too many. Actually Tante Ilse thought so too. She thought two children would have been plenty, especially during times of war.
      The oil, yes Noeleen, I really loved the smell. I can still imagine all the beautiful smells in Auntie’s bedroom. I am still very sensitive to smell. Some smells I love, others I detest.

  2. The EmuJune 5, 2013 at 11:07 pm Edit #

    Beautiful yet sad memories Auntyuta, I see by one of the other comments that your friend Cordula passed away in 2011, a beautiful friendship spanning many years.
    Emu

    • auntyutaJune 6, 2013 at 12:18 am Edit #

      Emu, thanks very much for your comment. I have so many memories about Cordula, going as far back as 1937,  I believe. It’s kind of strange that there are big gaps when she wasn’t around because of the war. There were some beautiful years of friendship after the war. However she was in a different school year and had not the same friends that I had. Maybe Lieselotte, who was in my class, was the only mutual friend we had. Her Dad had died and then her Mum died too. This was when she moved away from Berlin to stay with her aunts in Stuttgart.  Later on she lived in the Middle East. She wrote me beautiful letters. She had a good job. She married late in life. Had two children, sent me lovely photos of her family. She moved with her husband back to Germany. I only saw her once again for an afternoon visit. This was in 1986, such a long time ago! There’s so much I don’t know. Maybe there’s a chance to find out where Tilwin, her brother, is. The last we heard from him, he lived with his wife and two children in Düsseldorf. But this goes back maybe fifty years. Such gaps in time.
      I can only say that I always thought that Cordula was a very special person. Maybe I’m imagining things, but I believe she was filled with inner beauty. No, I’m not imagining this. This is how she was. I am sure she led a good life. You’re right, Emu, beautiful yet sad memories.

 

In Memory of David

This is in Memory of David. He died exactly one year ago.

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Here is David with Gaby and companion dog Bonnie. This picture was taken many years ago when David was still full of energy.
Here is David with Gaby and companion dog Bonnie. This picture was taken many years ago when David was still full of energy.

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AuntyUta

David died on the 5th of August 2013. Tomorrow, 19th of August, is to be his funeral at the Catholic Chapel, Rookwood Cemetery in Sydney.

I just reblogged some pictures of David and Gaby. David survived Gaby only by one year and a bit. Gaby’s funeral was on the 24th of July 2012, also at Roodkwood Cemetery.

May they both rest in peace.

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